For $323M, Samsung Biologics buys land for a 2nd manufacturing campus in South Korea

Samsung’s expansion plan for its CDMO unit is an efficient, no-nonsense enterprise, marching on with no end in sight.

Maybe that’s why, at its home base in South Korea, Samsung Biologics refers to its factories by number. Just 11 years into its existence, Samsung has Plants 1, 2 and 3 in operation, Plant 4 under construction and Plants 5 and 6 on the drawing board.

Monday, Samsung revealed it has acquired additional land in Incheon on which to construct its new duplicate facility, Bio Campus II. The parcel was purchased for 426 billion won ($323 million) and is 30% larger than Samsung’s original campus.

By 2032, it will house 4,000 employees—or roughly 400 new hires per year, Samsung said during a signing ceremony Monday at Incheon City Hall.

It’s all part of an ambitious plan mapped out by the parent company to become a contract manufacturing powerhouse in short order. The push has been so aggressive that when Plant 3 was complete in 2018, it gave Samsung the largest CDMO capacity at a single site at 360,000 liters.

When Plant 4—which starts to come online in October—becomes fully complete in 2023, Samsung expects it will have the largest overall capacity of any biomanufacturing company in the world.

The timing has been right for Samsung’s push considering the rapidly increasing worldwide demand for CDMO services, which became protracted by the pandemic. Last year, Samsung Biologics reported sales of 1.57 trillion won ($1.31 billion) for a 35% increase on 2020.

Last year, deep-pocketed conglomerate Samsung laid out an investment plan calling for 240 trillion won ($205 billion) to be spent through 2023 to bolster its biopharmaceutical, semiconductor and telecommunications businesses.

Then last month, Samsung Biologics revealed its three-pronged attack for growth: increasing its manufacturing capacity, deepening its portfolio and increasing its presence overseas.

Samsung Biologics already took steps in that direction in the U.S., setting up an R&D facility in San Francisco in 2020.

“It’s more when, not if,” Samsung Biologics CEO John Rim told Fierce Pharma last year of his company’s expansion plans beyond Korea. “We’re continuing to look at when is the opportune time to make an investment in the United States and make an investment in Europe as well.”